gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

I’m returning to these pages after a sweet baby-rocking, diaper-changing, road-tripping, berry-picking, ice cream eating, swimming and sauna-going kind of a summer. In honor of this new beginning (of sorts), I’ve done some sprucing up and re-organizing here on the blog. I hope you like the new look!

During this brief blogging sabbatical, I gathered ideas and inspiration into my metaphorical basket that I look forward to sharing with you in the weeks and months to come. And many new plans and projects are underway here on our southeastern urban homestead, which you will no doubt hear about as well.

My commitment to living the homesteading life in the context of a rented urban home — for the time being at least — has been renewed. Partially it’s the workshop at Paradise Lot in July that showed me how much can be grown within the constraints of a small urban lot. And partially it’s witnessing some other very cool folks choosing to embrace the small rental home setting and making the most of it. Whereas many of us dream of getting out of the suburbs to the ideal farm somewhere in the countryside, Nick and Kirsten of Milkwood did the opposite: they moved from the amazing permaculture farm they’ve been developing in very rural Australia to a rental home near Sydney. But they had their reasons for it, and I’m excited to see what they go on to do with their new space. What do they have to say about establishing food gardens when the landlord may or may not be on board? “Asking forgiveness trumps asking permission. Every time.”  That’s the spirit, I say!

I agree with them: the homesteading life is about skills. While our stay at our current place may be transitory, Dan and I are building homesteading skills as if we had already arrived on the homestead of our dreams. More on that later.

And now, some of the highlights of this summer:

summer-6Harvest from the garden after a six-week absence! Thank you, drip irrigation system! Thank you, helpful neighbors!

summer-4Taking dips in cool lake waters in some of the places I love most.

summer-3A meal entirely from the land: chanterelles from the forest, potatoes and salad from the garden, berries from the forest and the garden, water from the spring. Instead of a 100-mile diet, it’s a quarter mile diet!

summer-2Every night is a sauna night at my family’s summer place.

generationsGenerations together.

5 thoughts on “…And we’re back!

  1. Sonia says:

    Mari, this is beautiful! I will call you soon. 🙂 xoxo, Soni


  2. I love the idea of acting “as if you had already arrived” at the ideal situation. It can be so tempting to think “I’ll do that when I have more time, or when this or that happens,” but really, I’m realizing more and more that the ideal time may never happen, and it certainly won’t ever happen unless we plant the seeds, get things started in the here and now. Great thoughts!

    1. Mari says:

      Thank you Tasha! I’m thinking more and more that the steps taken towards the goal or destination are really what largely creates that goal or destination. Carpe diem, etc.

  3. Anna says:

    That last photo of the two hands brought tears to my eyes.

  4. Love the new look to the blog – welcome back!

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